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 Post subject: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:24 pm 
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I have to admit I have had very limited expierence with the 16 gauge and I basically understand the concept as to why the 16 ga. out performs the 20 even though the 20 ga. mag can also handle an 1 1/4 ounces of payload , but just how much do you really gain with the 16 over the 20 ?? I have compared the 28 ga. and the 20 ga. and I think that the 20 does have an edge under certain circumstances but I still prefer using my little 28's with the right loads most of the time .




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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:35 pm 
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Ok, not an expert - so I am sure someone will make me look stupid.

I like my 16 because at the same shot load, it patterns better than the 20 but weighs less than the 12.

So you can shoot a 1oz or 1 1/8 oz to get 12 ga stopping power (for hunting) and get a better pattern than a 20 in a gun that weighs basically the same.

I know you can shoot up to 1 1/4 oz in the 20, but my experience is 3" 20's don't pattern as well as the 16.

Of course, if you 16 is built on a 12 gauge frame (like some) then all you have is a gun that uses expensive shells. Mine is on a 20 gauge frame actually, so its even a few ounces lighter than a true 16 ga frame.


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:37 pm 
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I don't knock anyones favorite but I have a 16 O/U 525 Citori and it is one dove and quail killing machine.

I have a 20 too but in the field I have really come to like the 16.

I have found the 1&1/8 loads to kick a little more, in the 16, than I like so in those situations I plan to keep using the 12.

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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:54 pm 
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To me, it comes down to the lowest weight you can get for a specific payload and still get a quality pattern.

I mean, you can load a 12 shell down to 5/8 (even 1/2 really) and use your 12 instead of every gauge and the .410 caliber.

But an 8 lb gun is one heavy .410 replacement.

Thus the opposite concept of magnums and all that - an attempt to make a smaller gun hit like a larger gun. load a 3" 20 and you get a 12. Load a 3 or 3.5 in 12 and get a 10. But they tend to kick more when you overload a gun and the pattern really suffers after a while.

But I think every gauge has a ideal shot load and when you balance that with a gun for that gauge built on a properly scaled receiver - that is the perfect match.

So while you could have one gun and load down, or a few and load up or down - why not have one of each and shoot them for what they were built to do.


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 Post subject: Re: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:56 pm 
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3200 wrote:
I don't knock anyones favorite but I have a 16 O/U 525 Citori and it is one dove and quail killing machine.


Don't worry, you are not knocking his favorite - Stratoliner is just trying to get some material to justify him buying another gun.

He is a gun buying fool! Would love to play in his gun room.


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 Post subject: Re: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:57 pm 
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keggin wrote:
Ok, not an expert - so I am sure someone will make me look stupid.

I like my 16 because at the same shot load, it patterns better than the 20 but weighs less than the 12.

So you can shoot a 1oz or 1 1/8 oz to get 12 ga stopping power (for hunting) and get a better pattern than a 20 in a gun that weighs basically the same.

I know you can shoot up to 1 1/4 oz in the 20, but my experience is 3" 20's don't pattern as well as the 16.

Of course, if you 16 is built on a 12 gauge frame (like some) then all you have is a gun that uses expensive shells. Mine is on a 20 gauge frame actually, so its even a few ounces lighter than a true 16 ga frame.


Stupid your are not, keggin. You have seen the light!

I have two sixteens in the safe and No. 3 on order. My favorite pheasant gun is a 16 gauge F.A.I.R. 600 Gold with 26" barrels. Sweet to carry, comes to my cheek/shoulder like it's part of me, and ain't a bad looker, either. It put a lot of birds in the freezer this year.

May just hold onto that one and sell the other current one (F.A.I.R. LX900) if I like the new 16 as much as I expect. It's one of the Dewings limited run guns. I'm having it set up with 30" barrels and a small mid-rib bead. It's going to be my playing-around 16 gauge for 5-stand and whatnot. I love the gauge, and find I can hang right with 12 gauge gunners at skeet, 16-yard trap and most 5-stand presentations. I just use 1 oz. game loads for clays. Runs me about a buck a box more than 12s, but like you indicated...the trim lines and quick handling of proportionate 16 make me all smiley. :D

And if all goes as I hope, I'm sending my 20 gauge Caesar Guerini Magnus field model back to 'em ... to have matching 28 and .410 barrel/forearms fitted. Since I've fallen in love with the 16, I don't shoot as many 20 gauge shells as I used to.

I wonder if I'd made anything of myself had I not become a wingshooter? :?


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 Post subject: Re: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:49 pm 
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keggin wrote:
Of course, if you 16 is built on a 12 gauge frame (like some) then all you have is a gun that uses expensive shells. Mine is on a 20 gauge frame actually, so its even a few ounces lighter than a true 16 ga frame.


I have nothing against 16 gauges. I have no experience with them, but it stands to reason they fill a niche.

Sorry, I don't buy into this 16 gauge on a 20 gauge frame stuff. I know that is what they call it, but if it is big enough for 16 gauge barrels, it is a 16 gauge frame. If you put 20 gauge barrels on it, you have 20 gauge barrels on a 16 gauge frame, just like the 16 gauge barrels on a 12 gauge frame.

OK! I know, who gives a rip? :wink:

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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:05 pm 
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The sixteen gauge has been given a bad, repeat, bad rap.

I shoot a lot of 16, especially hunting.....

I like the 20 gauge too.... Heck it was my first shotgun when the shells were still the same color as the big ones, they were paper, and Federal's were still roll crimped!!

Yet everytime I pick up one of my 20's after a spell away from it I am very aware it is not a 16. Aware in several ways.
If we can have a short magnum in every caliber under the sun and even "Ultra" Mags...... Why can't we have the sixteen back in full equality to its bigger and smaller sisters?

Slidehammer


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:23 pm 
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Posts: 299
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota
Mr. Keggin summarized things very nicely in his first post on this thread! 20 and 12 gauges both work really well, but I find the 16 is a great compromise between the two; thing is though that in a compromise you usually lose something. Not so with the 16, as it combines the best features of the smaller and larger gauges and has NO downsides that I can find. Nothing better for upland game than a 16.

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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:44 am
Posts: 257
Location: Ishpeming, MI
It all comes down to personal preference. We can rationalize our choices with logical arguments like gun weight and pattern quality but it's ultimately more an emotional decision.

Your first gun, or the gun your grandpa favored, or the gun you were using on an especially good day in the field or at the range, or a well-written article by an author we respect leaves a lasting impression that influences our decisions on a deep level.

If we were all perfectly logical beings we'd probably all be using the same small handful of guns and gauges that would be tailored for specific situations. Thank goodness that isn't the case.

The 16 survives because some folks just plain like it better, and that's the bottom line.


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 Post subject: Re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:00 am 
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stratoliner wrote:
I have to admit I have had very limited expierence with the 16 gauge and I basically understand the concept as to why the 16 ga. out performs the 20 even though the 20 ga. mag can also handle an 1 1/4 ounces of payload , but just how much do you really gain with the 16 over the 20 ??


A gauge does not automatically "outperform." We might like to think that, but the pattern board does not support it. Performance is not only gauge, but is contingent on shell quality, choke, and everything else that is a component of pattern quality.

The standard 1 oz. 16 gauge load is a fine dove load, as the "standard" 1-1/8 oz. 16 gauge load is a fine pheasant load-- or, can be. Most of the comparisons relating to gauge compare 7/8 oz. 20 vs. 1 oz. 16 vs. 1-1/8 oz. 12 gauge, the most common loads in many folk's view.

It is hardly black/white pass/fail, as there are a couple of 20 ga. loads that pattern far better than some 1-1-/4 oz. 12 gauge loads. If you are surprised, well . . . I was as well.


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:50 am 
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Even though Randy likes to always post in a pragmatic way I have found that the 16 gauge does out perform the 20 gauge as a bird gun.

Sure some 20 gauge guns may pattern better with this load or that. We may put buffering in the shell to improve patterns or you may find a 20 gauge that hits like lighting. But having owned, shot and patterned an obscene amount of 16 gauges I have found a surprising amount of consistency on the pattern board and in the field.

Before I began shooting 16 gauges I was 20 gauge crazy. I owned every thing form Arrietas to model 21's in 20 gauge. Across the board the 20 gauges did not pattern as well with 1 ounce of shot as the 16 gauges. The 16 gauges were on par with the 12 gauge when one ounce is needed. The lighter carrying weight and smaller feel of the 16 gauge makes the gun perfect for the uplands.

So to me the 16 gauge is all the gun I will ever need in the uplands.


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:44 am 
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Location: East Mountains, NM
You can't have too many 16's.

I'm very partial to Winchester M-12's in 16. A handy size and good handling, but with many of the good attributes of the 12 ga. Beats the 20 like a big drum.

I'm even nutty enough to reload the 2 1/2" shells for it so I can shoot my elderly 16's.


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:40 am 
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To me the shotcup has confused this issue quite abit. Meaning explaining what is going on is difficult.. I have a berretta 12 ga utltralight and am very pleased how well it preforms with the sparce availability of the new lighter loads and switching chokes to fit the game/clay im after.. At the core of the issue, (again to me) is the concept of the square load.. In old days becouse of no shotcup the square load was the best pattern especially in cylender bore becouse this offered the least resistence to the shot, and the least amount of bore deforming the outside shot pellets.. Now that is pretty much confused by the shotcup that decreases the gauge one size.. that is the 12 is a 16 the 16 is a 20 etc.. this makes the twenty pretty far from a square load with 1 1/4 oz of shot.

I feel this somehow relates to the 20s patterning difficulties that some experience..

The wad durometer or strenght or whatever its called comes into play to giving the square load much less importance.. With different loads its very diffiecult to ascertain what is going on, but the 20 has a pretty long stack of shot.. Even if we ignore internal balistics, we have this long shot column leaving the gun.. If we are to belive the rear shot in the column is to become the longest reaching, this means that shot has to have the shot in front of the column peal off out of the way first.. This may very well protect the rear shot, IF (and that is a big if) the compresstion of the taller load doesnt deform the lower shot in internal combustion..

I guess what im saying is those that dont believe in patterning in todays guns with changeing chokes, bores, wads, shot hardness/density, powder burn rate, etc, is loosing alot of preformance out of a given load or gun..

the biggest problem with the 20 or 16 is availablity of shells at the local store.. If you want ot shoot clays its not unusuall to only have one or two options at the store. then in the later part of the season you may have no choices at the store.. This makes reloading pretty important if you want to shoot the smaller gauges whenever you want.

Im haveing fun with the new 12 ga 1100 fps 7/8 oz 8 1/2 rem light loads, but see its going to be very difficult finding them in a usable supply..

I see alot of 20 gauge shooters frustrated with thier new gun.. Without throwing a bucket of shot out there, pattern is definintly more important in the 20,,... If you dont scientifically search the available possibilites with your 16 or 20 it can be a dissapointment. . To me thats the fun part of a new gun.. :) .... Sorry, i tend to ramble,, Its cold, dark, and i have a pretty good case of the shack nasties (cabin fever)... dave.


Last edited by ffffg on Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:49 am 
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Dave,

Where in Montana? I used to live in Emigrant in the Paradise Valley. And even though it was supposedly the "banana" belt of Montana - I remember February as the worst month of the year mentally. Man, seemed like winter had being going on forever! I feel for you. Maybe a trip to shoot clays at Ben Avery in Arizona would be in order.

But remember, Spring is coming. I could not wait to finally get to catch some trout on dries during the Mother's Day Caddis hatch - seemed to be the first thing on the way to making winter a long forgotten memory. Plus, it was before the tourists showed up - so you could still find some river for yourself.

Strato - sorry to take your thread off topic, just thought I would help a fellow SGW'r get through a long month.


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:43 am 
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HI keggin, im in central montana, fish the mo.. I dont get into my exact location becouse i feel someday we shooters will start to get visiters looking for firearms.. I want to make it at least a little difficult to find me.. Its kind of like bear hunting, always make sure you bring an old fat guy you can outrun .. :D .... I dont bear hunt any more, im the old fat guy. :lol: dave


Last edited by ffffg on Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:46 am 
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Keggin got close to it in this post already. If you go back and look at the early dates of the 3'' magnum 20 gauge, you will find the unraveling of the 16 gauge. I believe it was in the early 60's when it started. It was touted by all of the gun/ammo manufacturers, that the 3'' 20 could do it all in the less than 12 bore guns. They were partly right, and partly wrong. But in in the course of history, the 20 has beaten out the 16 for market share, a million to 1. This isn't my opinion, but rather things that I learned from talking to some really older, and knowledgable guys that I worked with in a gunshop in my younger days. I stand to be corrected, but, I think that this is pretty well accepted as some of the actual history, as to why we do not see many 16's anymore.

I haven't ever owned a 16, but always wanted to. I like the idea of a gun the falls between the 12 and 20. In fact I think it would be pretty dang cool. I just always seem to go and buy another 12 or 20. Maybe soon, who knows? Take care, Josh


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:59 am 
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If you haven't handled or shot, a 16 gauge Parker or Fox, you owe it to yourself to do it someday. You will instantly know why it's called the Queen of the Uplands. Just a joy to carry and shoot. :wink:


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 Post subject: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:00 am 
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While I believe I could compete with anyone on this board for the number of shotshells patterned a year .... And while I've seen some beautiful 20 gauge patterns during this many year campaign...........

I still believe the "eye" opener is tons of experience in the field and seeing many birds hit with both gauges. It is here after time, you will comprehend the 16 has the advantage if your eyes have seen enough feather clouds.......

Slidehammer


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 Post subject: Re: re: 16 gauge vs 20 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:06 am 
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Dave M wrote:
If you haven't handled or shot, a 16 gauge Parker or Fox, you owe it to yourself to do it someday. You will instantly know why it's called the Queen of the Uplands. Just a joy to carry and shoot. :wink:


Dave is absolutely correct! The sixteen SxS is proportioned perfect to my eyes along with handling superiority. The barrels don't take on the "fat" look of the 12; nor do they shrink to the broomstick slenderness of the 20.... Just right!

Slidehammer




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